Raymon Reifer and Rahkeem Cornwall scored half-centuries as the second BestvBest between Team Brathwaite and Team Blackwood ended in a draw on Wednesday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Resuming from their overnight score of 213-8, Team Blackwood scored 268 with Reifer 40 not out overnight going on to score 62. Cornwall, 27 overnight, scored a valuable 52 that took Team Blackwood to within 58 runs of Team Brathwaite’s first innings score of 326-6 declared.

Alzarri Joseph was the best of the bowlers with 4-48. Jomel Warrican who did most of the damage on Tuesday ended with 3-38.

Batting a second time, Team Brathwaite stumbled to 46-4 when Captain Kraigg Brathwaite declared. Jeremy Solozano top-scored with 12 before retiring hurt. Joshua Da Silva, who seems to be struggling for form, scored 11 before he was dismissed lbw by Cornwall.

Shannon Gabriel, who is returning from injury, claimed the wickets of Kyle Mayers for seven and Brathwaite for two to finish with figures of 2-24 from his five overs. Cornwall was stingy taking 2-2 from 2.4 overs.

Chasing 105, Team Blackwood’s Shayne Moseley scored 29 and Kavem Hodge 26 in a first-wicket partnership of 57. Hodge then lost his wicket to Imran Khan before the match was called off and declared a draw.

Khan had figures of 1-27 from 7.2 overs.

Nkrumah Bonner scored an unbeaten 90 as Team (Jermaine) Blackwood reached 234-4 at the end of day one of the BestvBest match against Team Brathwaite at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Wednesday.

Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies’ Chief Selector has expressed concern over the productivity of opening partnerships for the West Indies but laments the fact that no one is really knocking at the door to be selected.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite has had a welcome return to form with two Test half-centuries and a century in his last four Test matches but fellow opener John Campbell has not been inspiring much confidence with his performances.

The Jamaican has scores of 3, 23, 36, 18, 42, 11, 5, and 10 in his last four Tests. His last half-century, 68, was made in the second Test against New Zealand in December last year.

As a result, solid opening partnerships for the Caribbean side have been rare and this is a worry for Harper.

 “I think it has been a concern for a while. It was pleasing to see the captain get some big scores, but we need the partnership, on the whole, to be solid,” Harper said this past week on Mason and Guest.

But while Campbell has been struggling for form, Harper acknowledges that the batsman has been working hard to correct his flaws, like the ones that saw him get out in similar fashion in all four innings in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka.

 “We were delighted to see Campbell applying himself and being more patient, but we need some more positive returns,” he said.

There are several players who could come in to bolster the batting but recent history does not offer much hope for success. Players like Shai Hope and Shayne Moseley are potential replacements; Hope especially who has shown a welcome return to form in the ODIs against Sri Lanka, but Test cricket is a different prospect for a player who has struggled in that format of the game.

Moseley, who has shown promise, is yet to demonstrate that he is ready after several failures.

“It is something we are looking at. We are looking at our best options. At the moment, from a red ball perspective, we don’t have enough openers who are knocking down the door in terms of performances,” he concluded.

 

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